“It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Spanish. A touch, a hug, it matters,” said Dr. Brian Parsley as he addressed his orthopedic surgical team on their first day in Guatemala. “It will make all the difference to them, and to you.” Brian knew what he was talking about. He has been to Guatemala with Faith In Practice more than 35 times. Thirty-five times, but never routine. Brian approaches every trip, every patient with the same level of intense passion. Each patient is the most important patient he has ever had. They know it. They feel it. And, they love him for it.
Three hours later, I was speaking with an older woman as she patiently waited to see Brian. We talked about how much pain she had been in, how this surgery was a chance of a lifetime for her. A dream realized. Her gnarled hands lay politely in her lap. Intermittently, she smoothed her apron, obviously her best, worn for this momentous occasion. All of the sudden, she grabbed my arm and her face brightened. “Look, look!!” See that doctor over there? When I was here three months ago, he gave me a hug!!” It did not seem possible that just this morning Brian was giving advice to his team. “It will make all the difference to them, and to you.”
Brian’s energy is unstoppable. He is the current President of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. He sits on the board for the Museum of Health and Medical Science in Houston among others and he also supports a host of charities. Brian sits on the Faith In Practice’s board and chaired the Faith In Practice expansion campaigns for both the Obras Hospital in 2005 and Hilario Galindo Hospital in 2013. Each year Brian builds and leads at least one surgical team. He also travels to Guatemala to see patients before those surgical teams arrive, so that he will be able to request implant donations in just the right size for each patient. His passion and energy for those in need is endless.
No matter how busy Brian is, he never forgets to give a hug. He never forgets to look into every patient’s eyes, to give them 100% of his attention, to give them his very best. Faith In Practice’s mission is not only to provide medical, surgical and dental care to those in need. Our mission is to ensure that each patient knows that they matter, that they are valued and that they are loved. Brian, with his boundless compassion and care, lives out that truth for every single Faith In Practice patient like no other. They know it. They feel it. And, we love him for it.